Three-term incumbent Lewes City Councilman Victor Letonoff has withdrawn as a candidate in the upcoming Saturday, May 11, annual municipal election.
“It is with great regret that I am announcing my withdrawal from the upcoming election for Lewes City Council. It has been one of the highlights of my life to have the honor over the last six years to serve on this council.
“Not only has this allowed me to be involved in the decision-making process for our city, but it has given me the great pleasure of getting to know so many of my fellow citizens,” Letonoff wrote in a letter announcing his departure from the race.
He said a benign tremor is behind his reason for withdrawing.
“While this in no way impairs my cognitive abilities, I feel it may soon begin to inhibit my ability to do public speaking. This would be distracting both to me and to my audiences. For this reason, I believe the people of Lewes would be better served by someone else on City Council,” he wrote.
He and wife Lacy have been Lewes residents since 1984. Letonoff works as a fine artist in his Lewes studio.
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Letonoff served in the U.S. Army for 35 years. He is a two-time Silver Star recipient honored for gallantry against an enemy in the War in Vietnam. He held the rank of colonel when he retired.
Letonoff has served on the Lewes Drug & Alcohol Abuse Council, a task force to improve Cape Henlopen schools and on the committee that developed Lewes’ core values.
Letonoff, on Feb. 1, was one of the first to file in a bid for one of two open seats on the panel. Fred Beaufait, 76, a one-term incumbent councilman who also filed Feb. 1., was first elected to city council in May 2011 and appointed secretary in June 2011.
He and wife Lois have lived in Lewes since 2004. Beaufait has served on the board of The Friends of the Canalfront Park, is active in the Lewes Presbyterian Church and works with the summer music program held in Stango Park.
Also in the race is Dennis Reardon, 72, who filed Feb. 5. He is a Delaware native who served more than two decades in family court as a deputy attorney general and later as chief master, presiding over criminal and civil matters. Reardon grew up in Wilmington, but his family had a home in Lewes, and he visited the town throughout his childhood. Reardon built a new home on the Lewes Beach parcel once occupied by the family’s old house.
Reardon said he has no agenda or alliance to any groups or individuals, and he would bring a pragmatic, common-sense approach to the office.
Until Reardon entered the race, an election would have been unnecessary because Beaufait and Letonoff would have automatically retained their seats. Unless another candidate throws their hat into the ring to challenge Beaufait and Reardon, no election would be necessary.
The candidate filing period closes at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4. Those interested in running for office must obtain a candidate filing form at Lewes City Hall, 114 E. Third St. Forms are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For additional information about the election, candidacy requirements and voter registration, call 302-645-7700, visit City Hall or go to www.ci.lewes.de.us.